Surviving Your First Few Days In Neverwinter
So you’ve decided to take the free-to-play plunge and download Cryptic’s new MMORPG Neverwinter. Exploring a new game world is definitely an exciting time, but it can be easy to become lost or overwhelmed in a new game. To help make your initial time in the game a little easier here are a few basics about Neverwinter and some tips and tricks to help you get started.
Following the Trail of Sparkles
A great feature in Neverwinter is the quest tracking system which provides a wonderous trail of sparkles for you to follow to your objective in the game world. Following the sparkling trail around will usually get you to where you need to go in order to complete your quest, and can be particularly useful while learning your way around Protector’s Enclave, the main city hub in the game.
The sparkle trail is great, but don’t forget to explore around off the beaten path some. There are treasure chests hidden behind stairwells, down alternate corridors, and placed in out-of-the-way locations throughout the world and in dungeons. Even after hours of gameplay I still keep the trail turned on as a matter of convenience, but if you’re not exploring the world outside of that tiny sparkling line, then you are missing out on a lot.
Campfires, Health Pots, and Portable Altars
Unlike games like Guild Wars 2, your character isn’t going to suddenly regain his or her health between fights. Typically a campfire is the best way to regain lost health, but while there are many to be found out in the world, campfires aren’t around every turn in the path.
To keep your character from dying, you are going to need health potions, and plenty of them. Especially in the first 15 levels of the game before you are able to acquire your first companion, you will be taking quite a bit of damage, and health potions are the primary way to keep yourself alive.
Between fights you can also drop a Portable Altar from your inventory that will heal you up just like a campfire, and will also allow you to use your Invocation skill after level 11, which gives you bonuses and rewards once an hour. Portable Altars drop off of enemies in the world as you kill them and you will likely have a few in your inventory most of the time.
Every time you head out into an adventure zone or into a dungeon be sure to stop by a local General Goods NPC to pick up plenty of health potions and keep yourself alive and questing for hours on end.
Scroll of Identification
If you’ve played many RPGs in your time, you’ll know what a Scroll of Identification is and how to use it. You double click the scroll, then click on an unidentified item to see its stats.
When you acquire an unidentified item in Neverwinter that your class can not use, and you plan to simply sell that item to a vendor as junk, the item will typically sell for significantly more if it has been identified using a scroll. You should have no shortage of Scrolls of Identification in Neverwinter thanks to regular loot drops when killing enemies, so be sure to identify those unusable items before selling them to a vendor for financial gain.
There is an in-game Gold/Silver/Copper currency system that you will spend and acquire while buying and selling items from general NPCs, but the Astral Diamond currency is actually the money that makes the Neverwinter economy go-round.
You can gain Astral Diamonds through certain quests as rewards, and by using your Invocation ability every hour. There is a daily quest vendor named Rhix in Protector’s Enclave who can provide you with daily quests that will reward you with Astral Diamonds for doing things like queuing up for a Skirmish, Running a Dungeon or Foundry mission, or participating in PvP.
Astral Diamonds are the currency you need to buy things from the Auction House, and certain NPCs will only deal in Astral Diamonds as well. Also, Astral Diamonds are the currency that can be exchanged directly for Zen, which is the cash shop currency that you purchase with real-world money, and is how players can acquire anything from the cash shop without ever having to spend a penny.
So while you can get many basic supplies with Gold, Astral Diamonds are the actual measure of in-game wealth in Neverwinter.
Skirmishes are fast, fun group content that you can queue up for from the landing screen, and are a great way to score some XP and loot in a fast paced action-filled mission. You’ll have access to a new skirmish in each new zone you enter, and there are NPCs who will give you missions to complete these skirmishes for extra XP and rewards. Skirmishes are also one of the daily Astral Diamonds quests you can obtain from Rhix in Protector’s Enclave.
Especially at early levels, skirmishes are quick content that your group can complete without a terrible amount of coordination or communication, making it a great way to learn how your character fits into a group and the role you will be filling.
Foundry Quests Scale To Your Level
The Foundry in Neverwinter is a collection of player created content which can contain some of the richest story and most imaginative content in any MMORPG. Not only are Foundry missions a great way to play new and interesting content, but the Foundry missions also grant great XP for leveling and there is often a world event running that provides extra XP and rewards for running Foundry content. You can also pick up a daily Astral Diamonds quest to run a Foundry Mission as well.
The missions in the Neverwinter Foundry scale to your character’s level, so don’t be afraid to look through the catalog of available missions and play some that look interesting to you. You will be rewarded well for doing so, and it can be a great gaming experience.
Depending on which class you roll, you will get one of the passive gathering skills that are in Neverwinter. These skills are Thievery, Religion, Arcana, and Dungeoneering. These skills allow you to interact with items placed in the world and receive items from them.
You must have the appropriate skill in order to interact with each type of node, but you can gather loot from nodes that you do not posess the skill to interact with by purchasing Gathering Kits from any general goods vendor. Keep a few of each type of gathering kit in your inventory in order to interact with these nodes as you find them, and get the rewards and bonuses they offer.
The first 15 levels in Neverwinter will find you adventuring alone in the world unless you group with friends, but once you reach level 16 you will receive a quest to choose your first companion to accompany you and help you in your adventures.
You will be able to choose from a few different types of companions, and there is one that can help you out regardless of your play style. If you’re always in the enemy’s face and taking damage, you can pick up a cleric companion that does a rather nice job of keeping you healed up. If you stand back and cast powerful magics at your enemies, then you can obtain a companion to run in and tank the damage for you. And if you’re just looking for a little more damage, you can choose a companion that will help you slay your foes with impartial aggression.
Don’t Forget To Train Your Companion
When accompanying you on your adventures, your companion will also be gaining XP and begin leveling up. When your companion gains a level they can be sent to train, which can provide them with extra stats, abilities, and slots for upgrades. Be sure that you are sending your companion to train, even if you it’s while you are offline. As your companions reach higher levels the time it takes to train them will become longer, so you may want to wait until you are just roaming around not doing much, or are about to log out to send your higher level companions to train.
You can also purchase additional companions and simply switch between them while the other is away training. Companion training can be shortened by spending Astral Diamonds.
At level 20 you will receive a quest to head to Protector’s Enclave and purchase your first mount. It’s important to note that you will need 5 gold in order to purchase your first mount, so if you’re still short on money, don’t waste a trip to town just yet. As long as you’re not spending your gold as fast as you get it you shouldn’t have to much of a problem having 5 gold before or very soon after hitting level 20.
Hopefully these tips and suggestions will help make your intitial time in Neverwinter a little easier.